Purpose: To compare the health-related quality of life and functional outcomes of patients with and without periprosthetic infection after total joint replacement (TJR).
Methods: 62 uncomplicated TJRs and 34 TJRs complicated with deep infection were compared using a visual analogue scale for satisfaction, the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, Assessment of Quality of Life, and Short Form-36.
Results: Patients with complicated TJR had significantly poorer satisfaction in outcome (p<0.0001) and disease-specific functional outcomes (p<0.0001). Six of the 8 health-related quality-of-life scores were also significantly poorer (p<0.05). These results persisted after controlling for age, sex, and follow-up period in a multiple regression analysis.
Conclusion: Infection following TJR reduces patient satisfaction and seriously impairs functional health status and health-related quality of life. When hospitals are balancing the costs of preventative measures with the costs of treating infection in TJR, the effect on patients' quality of life must be considered. Our findings argue strongly for allocation of health care resources to minimise the occurrence of infection after TJR.